Monday, July 25, 2011

2 Months With Hank

As of today, we've had Hank for two months!  Two months - it sounds like such a short amount of time, and yet it feels like it has been awhile.

Developmentally, so much has happened with this dog since we first brought him home.  He's shown how smart he is through the quickness & ease he learns new "tricks."  Thus far he's mastered "sit," "down," "Hank come," and "crate."  We're trying to work on "stay" and on moving from "down" back up to "sit."  He also seems to understand the word "potty" and if we say it to him, he'll force out a tinkle, even if he probably doesn't need to go.

Potty has actually been one part of the puppy experience that hasn't been entirely rosy (although, it seems like potty training anything, puppy or child, isn't necessarily rosy).  After no real method but taking him out every few hours, we've decided to bell train him (i.e., have a bell hanging on the doorknob that he can nose when he needs to go outside to the bathroom).  It's been going alright.  He'll use the bell - so he seems to have made the association between ringing the bell & going outside - but most of the time once he's outside, he won't immediately run out into the yard to potty.  It often takes some coaxing on our part. I'm dying for him to master potty once & for all!  Hopefully in this month!

Another thing that's quite clear about our little guy is his love of toys.  He looooooves to play with toys - it's actually pretty great because he's totally happy and content playing by himself with his toys if we're doing something else.  And I guess by "playing," I end up meaning "destroying," because just about every toy he gets is destroyed a few weeks down the road.  He just loves to run around with them, chew them, and jump up & smash them.  It's no surprise their lifespans are somewhat short (but as long as he's not destroying my furniture/shoes/baseboards/anything else I'm perfectly happy buying a couple new ones each month).

We've made some good strides, I think, in his apprehension towards new people.  While he still gets nervous (and sometimes barks a lot) when he meets new people, it's become a little more hit & miss, meaning that some people he's just fine to meet, while with others (i.e., poor Patti, who he just hasn't quite taken to) he freaks out.  He did surprisingly well at our neighborhood 4th of July parade, where there were hundreds of people and many, many kids.  And he did decently when I hosted book club at our house (Jonathan had taken him to his parents' house, but then they came back home just as we were closing up club and chit chatting).  This is another thing I hope he grows out of as he gets older.  I can't wait for the weather to cool down so we can take him to a lot of outdoor activities again (i.e., outdoor patios at restaurants, the dog park, Shelby Farms, etc.).

And finally, in the two months we've had him, he's gained about 10 pounds (so went from 30 to 40).  He's not really filled out at all, but his bones have gotten taller and longer.  Since we have no idea what kind of dog he is, it's hard to guess about his growing and/or adult size.  Most dogs are full-sized by one year old.  But if he has any Rottweiler in him, it could be two years before he's fully grown.  In my mind, I envision he'll be around 70 pounds full grown.  I'm not sure why exactly I think that, but it seems like a reasonable size given his age, rate of growth thus far, and his paw size.

Sadly, in these two months, his hair has pretty much changed over from the soft, sweet puppy fur (that smelled so freaking cute and puppy-like) to normal, adult fur.  So it's a little more coarse and has a little bit of wave to it.  And as an added bonus, he doesn't seem to shed very much.  When you pet him, no hair comes off in your hand - the only real time we see hair is in some dust bunnies on the floor.

Overall, it's been a great two months.  It's been difficult, but also rewarding.  It seems like he loves Jonathan and me about equally, which is nice because it makes it easier for both of us to adore him and want to teach him new stuff and share the responsibilities of having him around.  It's hard to deny that getting home from work and having a puppy FIRED UP to see you and wagging his tail and whimpering and trying to clobber you isn't a pretty good feeling.

(Note - I was going to add some pictures with this post, but stupid blogger isn't letting me upload.  Another time...)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

It's The Little Things

I cannot tell you how happy it made me to see this in our breakroom at work yesterday:
It's a box for people to put their unused packets of sauce!

As a lover of sauces, this appeals to my constant desire to jazz up my food.  Quite literally, two weeks ago I needed ketchup to put on something I'd brought to work.  I had to tear apart dig through random drawers in our breakroom until I finally found one measly packet that was shoved in the back.  I was glad I found it, but I couldn't help wondering how many unused things get thrown out without a second thought.  And really?  It makes a lot of sense to save this stuff.  We don't have community condiments or anything in the fridge, so we're helping our co-workers out by letting them use the stuff we don't want.

Some of the interesting sauces I saw in this box o'goodies (without dumping it all out to extensively examine):
-lots of ketchup!
-honey
-malt vinegar
-soy sauce
-Louisiana hot sauce
-McDonald's bbq sauce that I might have used on my sandwich at lunch...because it's friggin awesome
-cocktail sauce
-apple jelly
-strawberry jam
-mayonnaise
-mustard

Now that's some great variety!  Good job, people who eat out for lunch everyday - way to not be completely wasteful!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hair Rut?

There was a segment on the Today Show a few weeks ago about hairstyles.  One of the "experts" made a comment along the lines of: "if you've gotten the same haircut/color more than three times in a row at the salon, you're probably in a hair rut."

WHAT?  If this is the case, I've been in a "hair rut" for a few years, now!

So I kind of understand how a hair "expert" would say this.  It's the same reason a super trendy fashionista would probably look at my wardrobe (and some of those items I've had for years and still wear) and say I'm in a fashion rut.  They're in the profession and they think styles should be cutting edge and different.  I get that.  And honestly, it doesn't really seem professional to me to change one's hair color all that often.  But, color aside, it got me wondering about my hair...am I in a rut?

I love my haircut.  It's the first time in my life I've ever had one that actually works with my hair.  Because it's super thin and super soft, it just doesn't work well in a lot of styles.  I mean, I look back at certain pictures from the past and think how awful my haircut was - how my stylist at the time just didn't seem to understand what to do.

But if I'm in a hair rut, should I change it up somehow?  I'm headed to the salon tomorrow, which is why this is in the forefront of my mind.  The past couple times I've been, my stylist has just done a trim, with hopes that I can do a genuine ponytail at some point in the future.  So I guess that's sort of changing it up?  But in the back of my mind, I keep thinking if it gets long enough for a pony, it's not going to look good down.  I also think once the weather cools down, I might go back to a straight-across bang instead of a side-swept one, which would be a little different.  But not that different.

What do you guys think about this?  How often do you change up your hair?  Do you think having the same haircut for years is classified as a "hair rut?"  What if one's hair isn't that versatile?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New Couch Day!

When I moved into Jonathan's house, I didn't exactly contribute much in the furniture department.  He had a house that was full of furniture - literally, it was busting at the seams - and I didn't have all that much that was nice.  At our house next door, we used LB's dad's old couches; a dining room table that was in the house when we bought it; Patti's couch & chair in the back room; LB's tv chest; and then we all had our own bedroom furniture.  Mine was my grandmother's, so that got moved to the new house.  But other than 2 end tables (both of which got moved), and my grandmother's kitchen table (which got moved into my mom's basement), I didn't have anything else but a few odds and ends (bookshelves, a desk, a stool, etc.).

Jonathan's furniture was (is) pretty nice for the most part, and once we de-cluttered and moved different pieces to different rooms, everything looked great.  The only sort of questionable component of his furniture collection was the couch set in our back room (which acts as a den/family room and also has our kitchen table).  The couches were fine in terms of color and style, they were just getting old.  And so with their age, they were sagging a lot, the cushions were sort of deformed and would never really go back to their intended shape, and they were getting a little stinky, thus requiring a fairly-often application of Febreeze.

We didn't necessarily want to spend the money on new couches (thinking that at some point in the next couple years, we'll probably move), but at the same time, we realized we sort of needed them, whether or not we liked it.  So we decided to go for it! 

And Friday was new couch day!  I wasn't there, so I guess I don't really know, but it seems like everything went quite smoothly.  The Salvation Army came to pick up our old couches, and then in about an hour, the deliverymen came with the new ones.  So when I got home from work on Friday, I walked into a new family room!

Behold!  (Note: I didn't take pictures of the old ones.  I guess I should have, but I'm not sure their shoddiness would've transferred to film anyway, so just enjoy these new jewels.  And I couldn't really decide on flash/no flash - I'm not sure either 100% captures them - but you get the idea.)



I really like the way they look and they're pretty comfy, so I'd say it's a success!  And the pillow covers came from my trip to Pottery Barn on Saturday.  Next on my list is to get a chair re-covered that's in the same room, and then I'll feel really good about everything.  I love some new home decor!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weekend O' Harry

Some key words from my weekend: Harry Potter; snow cones; women's soccer; relaxation.  "Harry" and "relaxation" really define the weekend more than anything else, though...

Friday night, Jonathan and I went to dinner at Fuel Cafe (an RR post to come on that this week), went to Jerry's Snow Cones, and then settled in at home to watch the first half of the last HP.  Jerry's was the perfect way to start the weekend, but I was confused and thought my absolute favorite thing on the menu was the John Deere (because I knew JD was named for the color, and I knew my favorite was green), but once I started eating it, realized it was not what I hoped to order.  (After we ordered, Jonathan was like, "I think you like the Too Legit," which is absolutely correct.  Order fail - but oh well.)  And yeah, per my post last week, the first half of Deathly Hallows is definitely out on DVD - thanks for the comments on that.  I'm not really sure how I missed its release, but yeah, we were able to rent it through the tv and watch it.

Saturday we ventured to the farmer's market in the morning (where I bought two cantaloupes because one wasn't enough last week).  And then I planned to go to the pool, but was somewhat dissuaded by the kind of overcast weather.  Instead I went to Pottery Barn to buy some pillows covers for our new couches (a post to come on that this week), and then just lounged for most of the day.  It was lovely and relaxing.  I did manage to make it to the gym, so it wasn't complete laziness although I also baked muffins, so maybe that cancels out the gym? 

And Saturday night was Harry Potter finale night for us!  Overall we were both pleased with how it was done.  It was nice having just re-read the last book, so we had it fresh in our minds and were able to note what parts had been omitted and/or embellished.  I'm sad to see the movies end, but at the same time, I know we'll still watch them a ton (as ABC Family has an all-Harry Potter Sunday every few weeks, it seems) and I wouldn't even be surprised if I re-read the whole series again at some point in the future.  We followed the movie with dinner at Swankys Taco Shop - mmm.

After church on Sunday, we settled on the couch for the soccer game (and all the pre-game coverage).  Although it didn't end as we would've liked, it was still fun to watch.  And even though I hate to admit it, Japan has gone through so much this year, a win is probably good for them.  (Not that an American win wouldn't have been 1000x better, but you know, looking on the bright side...)

Overall a great weekend!  I hope you guys enjoyed yourselves, as well!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sandwiches and Lemonade - Mmm!

I had a doctor's appointment out East yesterday in the early afternoon.  When it was over, I decided the only smart thing for a person to do when out in East Memphis at lunchtime is go to Deli Mexicana

Oh my gosh - it was so. friggin. good.  I mean, just delicious!  The gist of this place is that it's a Mexican sandwich shop.  The owner will give you a long rundown on it when you walk in if you say you've never been, but apparently in Mexico City there are a lot of upscale-ish sandwich shops that use super fresh ingredients.  So that's his whole thing - super fresh ingredients on either a delicious roll or as tacos.  I believe the toppings that come on every sandwich/taco are: refried beans spread on the bread, jalapenos, tomato, avocado, and pickled onion.  Then the delicious bread is buttered and the whole thing is lightly heated on a skillet.  I got the red snapper sandwich and a ear of corn.  The corn is dipped in mayonnaise and then rolled in cheese and spices - can you go wrong with that?  I'd say no.

They also offer all these fresh-squeezed juices.  Not to say that fresh-squeezed juice is bad for you, but I figured with my sandwich and corn, I probably didn't need any more calories at lunch.  But thinking about the juice got me hardcore craving pink lemonade when I got back to the office.  I had to go to the local Walgreens and buy a box of a sugar-free drink mix to satisfy my craving.  So good.  It tasted like summer.

Does anyone know why pink lemonade is pink?  In my opinion it has a distinctly different flavor than regular lemonade, but it isn't necessarily fruity.  I tried to do some google research on the matter - but there are about 1000 conflicting stories about it.  What maybe seems the most likely is that the "pink" version has more sugar than the normal version (and the color just comes from food dye).

Whatev.  Happy weekend, everyone.  I'm hoping for some rain or clouds in Memphis to cool things down.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thursday Randoms

1) Go US Women's soccer!  I have to say, it was pretty awesome to hear the boys cheer in the breakroom yesterday as they watched the match against France.  To know it was a women's sporting event and they were that into it warmed my heart a little.

2) Yesterday in Court Square there was a Dole truck giving out free fruit cups.  Apparently Dole is doing a cross-country trip where they stop in a city a day to hand out free fruit.  The winning aspect of the whole situation (aside from the fact it was free) was a little sample of "Real Fruit Bites" in apple flavor that were included in our goody bags.  They are chunks of apple coated in a yogurt/oats mixture that I would maybe think about purchasing them on my own, they were that good.  Good job, Dole - way to bring in a new customer.

3) It is hottttttttttt outside.  Really, grossly, oppressively hot.  Like, our air conditioner can't ever catch up (because the lows of the day have been in the mid-80s).  I'm starting to think I can't go home at lunch anymore to let the dog out for a tinkle.  Thoughts on this?  He holds it during the night, which is about the same amount of hours as the day...

4) On Tuesday night, we had a fly infestation in our house!  It was absolutely grotesque.  I killed 12, I think, and then killed another yesterday at lunch.  Jonathan probably killed 6.  We have no idea where they came from!  I made Jonathan go into the attic to see if there was a dead animal up there.  None.  I went out at one point and scooped poop from the yard, wondering if we just hadn't done that recently enough.  Unknown - but I hope the problem is resolved.

5) On the road (Riverside Drive) that runs next to my work parking lot, there has been a pretty big pothole/sinkhole that's been forming over the past few months.  It was starting to get really deep.  So they fixed it the other day.  Only....the way the City of Memphis decided to "fix" it was by pouring a pile of rocks in there.  As you can imagine, the rocks have been spread in 100 different directions on the main road, and if you want my opinion, are just waiting to crack a windshield or two or 20 when they get turned up.  Um - who's idea was it to fix the hole this way??

6) Did I mention how hot it is?  I need to stay positive...  Just a few more weeks and we might get some relief.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

JL Placement

The first year you're in the Junior League is called your "provisional" year.  It's basically a year of learning about the JL (ie, lots of meetings), and then getting little tastes of the many different community projects the JL supports through volunteering.  (And also noted, there are lots of fun little get togethers and activities throughout the year.)

Well, my provisional year ended in May.  It was an awesome experience.  I adored the girls in my "small group," and actually feel like I've made some genuine friends from the whole thing.  I think it helped that the small groups were created according to where we live - so ours consisted of the midtown & downtown provisionals (perhaps a slightly cooler crop than say, the Collierville girls).

But anyway, now that the first year is done, I had to pick a JL-sponsored community project that would be my specific "placement" for this whole year (2011-2012).  There were a ton of cool-sounding options, but I decided to go with Facing History & Ourselves.  If you've never heard of it before, it's an exhibit that runs in different cities for about 4 months at a time.  The purpose is to look at events of the past and link them with moral choices in the present.  Historically, they've used the Holocaust as one of the past events.  In our Memphis exhibit, there will be a few different "past" events: one about hate crimes in a small town; one about the desegregation of schools in Arkansas; and a few others that I can't remember.

As volunteers, we will act as docents at the exhibit - so people and/or schools groups will come to see the exhibit and we'll have a group of maybe 20 people we walk through, start up the different presentations, and then lead some follow-up discussion.  It's all set up at the big public library in town.

We had our first meeting a couple nights ago, and it made me really excited about the exhibit itself.  Apparently it's quite an honor that it will run in Memphis (since we aren't necessarily one of the big US cities).  And they are anticipating a lot of people coming through to see it, which makes me hopeful it will have a big impact on our sometimes-challenged city. 

(I was less than excited to hear that some of the original info we'd received about the placement [ie, the hours of operation] were a little off.  That is, they're expecting most of the tour groups to come through M-F between 9 and 3 [not exactly ideal for a full-time worker], when we'd originally been told it would run 7 days a week from 9am-9pm [making it ideal if you have a full-time job].  But our group leader seems super nice and wants to accommodate us and our schedules, so hopefully we'll work that out.)

But yeah - overall I'm really excited about it.  It's nice to have one specific thing into which I'm pouring my energy for Junior League.  Hopefully it will be a good year!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

HP Geek Out

I would be lying if I said I wasn't excited about the new Harry Potter movie coming out.  Actually, I'm in the process of re-reading the last book as a little refresher.  Jonathan read the 2nd half of the last book, as well (I guess it makes him half as geeked out as me?).  And we definitely watched some of the HP marathon on ABC Family this past weekend.

The only thing I'm sad about (also, confused) is that I can't re-watch the first half of the final installment.  I mean, obviously there are some great marketing people doing all the HP stuff, so I probably don't know....but doesn't it seem like the launch of the final movie would be a good time to release the first one on DVD?  I mean, we don't usually buy DVDs, but I'm pretty sure we would've bought that one just so we could see it before the finale.  Maybe it's a ploy to make even more money from the franchise by releasing both of them when HP is starting to fade from the brain?  Which, ok, fine, makes sense - but come on!  I want to see the first half before I go to the theatre to see the last one!

I can't help wondering, as well, how long Harry Potter will be part of our pop-kid's culture.  Due to the whole magical wizard/not-real-world aspect, they feel a little more timeless, I think.  But do you think in 20, 30, 40 years kids will still be reading the books and watching the movies?  I guess I read Nancy Drew books when I was a kid, which had been written 30+ years before my time.  But Nancy didn't also have a huge movie deal that went along with it.  It seems like if anything, the movies will date the franchise, just because movies are so noticeably old as the technology changes so fast.

Anyway - can't wait for next weekend!  Any other fans out there?  Are you excited, too?

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Weekend With My Mom...In Food

My mom arrived on Friday at lunchtime.  I walked down to her hotel, grabbed her, and we walked to meet Jonathan at The Majestic.  This isn't one of my "usual" lunch spots, but I've been dying to try their veggie burger, so it seemed like a good opportunity.  Um...holy crap!  This veggie burger was a-maz-ing!  Definitely top three in the city - possibly even top two.  I think I read somewhere that it's made with polenta as a base?  But basically it's this lovely crunchy texture on the outside and then totally smooth/not dry on the inside. So so so good!  (I also got french fries as my side - I mean, come on - burger and fries!  It's a classic!)

That night, after my mom played for quite some time with her "granddog" (who she loved), we headed on to Central BBQ because she wanted some while she was in town.  Since Jonathan and my mom both had salads for lunch, they were probably a little more hyped about a big heavy bbq meal than me.  But I still managed to polish off a portabello sandwich.  And as a first for me, my mom and I ordered "chips with blue cheese" to split.  I've never even really noticed them on the menu before, but they were definitely yum.  The homemade chips are out of this world, and the blue cheese sauce (which I have to imagine is just blue cheese mixed with mayo and spices) was to die for.  We had to follow dinner with YoLo.  Had to.  We actually brought it home, though, and watched Tangled that we'd rented from Netflix.  It was such a cute movie!  Definitely recommend.

Jonathan had to work Saturday morning, so my mom and I went to the farmer's market to walk around.  While there, we sampled some gluten-free pastries (which were great), some local granola, and bought a slice of blueberry/peach/banana bread (YUM) to split.  We also bought a perfectly ripe, perfectly delicious cantalope and some blackberries and ate a bunch of that when we got home.

Then we caught an early lunch with Patti at Fino's.  I haven't been to good old Fino in quite some time, so it was a real treat to go.  It was as delicious as always - and actually, the big difference I noticed was the amount of mayo in the pasta salad.  I mean, they are not skimping on it at all.  Like, not at all.  But it was still delicious (if you like mayo).  And the serving size was enormous.  Again, there was no skimping there.

After a great afternoon at the pool, we cleaned ourselves up and headed to Sweet Grass for a lovely, nice dinner.  I just love that place!  The food is so good and the atmosphere is so nice, it's definitely my restaurant of choice for the moment (although our waiter on Saturday could've been 100x better, but whatev).  We all had delicious meals (me, a flounder special; Jonathan, lamb; and my mom, shrimp and grits) and we followed it with a piece of blueberry pie with lemon whipped cream and a sour cream apple pie with bourbon gelato.  The apple pie blew the blueberry out of the water - but both were deliciously decadent.

And as if we had any more room to eat - Sunday morning we went to Cafe Ecclectic for breakfast/brunch.  We actually tried to go to 3 Angels Diner, but when we got there, a sign said they didn't open until 11.  I want to look into that, because on their website they have a breakfast/brunch menu (and it just seems like 11 is late for that to start, you know?).  But Ecclectic was a fine substitute.  No one got anything crazy or out of the ordinary - just egg dishes, etc.

All in all, a great weekend - food-wise and other.  Unfortunately, the heat really started up yesterday (with a "feels like" heat index of 107), and today I think it is supposed to "feel like" 113.  Sick.

And if you didn't already guess, I'll be eating fruits and vegetables for the next few days trying to cleanse my body of all the crap it consumed.  Totally worth it, though.  I hope you guys had good ones, too.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Fitness Friday

My positive fitness note this week is about running.  I ran on Friday, Sunday, and Monday with little-to-no knee pain, which was a f-ing miracle!  I think I did 5 miles Friday (I honestly can't remember), but I know I did 4 and 4.5, respectively, the other two days and felt great!  I don't want to get overly hopeful that my knee is completely healed - but I do think these are positive steps.  I definitely took it pretty slow.  I would do intervals between a 10-minute mile and a 9.  But I think that's the best way to get back into it.

Other than that, though, overall fitness has been blah this week.  My awesome yoga series class didn't meet because of the 4th.  And I went to a pretty bad yoga class on Wednesday at lunch (it was a substitute teacher and she was no good).  I also walked Hanker a few of the days, but other than that, not too much. 

And my eating hasn't quite been stellar, either.  I mindlessly snacked a ton over the holiday weekend.  And for some reason, none of my normal go-to's have been sounding all that awesome (which is kind of funny given that I've eaten the same lunch at work everyday for the past 2-3 years).  We ate at the ballpark last weekend and had YoLo, which was not the most calorically sound dinner.  And I ate just about a whole block of cheese myself.  Yuck.

Have you guys been doing better than me (I hope!)?  In my opinion, holiday weekends (when you're home from work an extra day) are really hard.  I just can't help myself from constantly grazing out of the fridge.

Oh - but in other news - Jonathan has lost 10 pounds!  Go him!  I think I need some of his diligence to rub off on me...

Happy weekend!  My momma is coming to visit which will mean about 5000 calories in delicious restaurant food.  Mmm.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Casey: Guilty or No?

Well, the big verdict is in - Casey Anthony: not guilty!

What do you guys think about this??

Not that I was super into the trial or anything, but I did enjoy reading little snippets here and there about the things they uncovered.  (Like the mom searching for "chloroform" on her computer - WHAT?)  And I was definitely brought back to the summer of the OJ Simpson trial when my stepmom and I would sit in front of the tv a couple hours a day watching all that go down.

And so, in my untrained-yet-married-to-a-lawyer-which-gives-me-some-street-cred opinion, I think "not guilty" was the correct verdict.  Do I think this woman quite possibly killed her daughter?  Yes.  But is that just a hunch?  Yes.  Is it supported by cold, hard evidence?  No.  And I have to say, I'm happy to see that the jurors were able to come to this conclusion as well.  The evidence just wasn't there.

Jonathan and I flipped on Nancy Grace the night of the verdict to see what she had to say.  Do you guys ever watch her?  Oh my gosh - she's a loose cannon!  She was so fired up you might have suspected Casey Anthony was accused of killing her kids!  And of course she thought the verdict was all wrong, etc.  But really, I mean, do you guys think there was enough evidence to convict her?  I don't.  And actually, I suspect Nancy might not either, but she wouldn't be the firecracker she is if she said so.

When all is said and done, poor, sweet baby Caylee.  At least she is with her family in Heaven and not her 100% dysfunctional one on Earth.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

New Products

One of the reasons I like Target so much is its "Up & Up" brand - ie, the store's generic (much cheaper!) knockoffs of many popular products.  I'll buy pretty much anything generic: medicines, beauty products, cleaning products, food, you name it.

So given this background, it's a little strange, I guess, that I've never really bought stuff from the Suave "professional" line, which is basically knockoffs of specific salon hair products.  Now I will say this, I use salon-brand hair products most of the time.  I figure if I put the money into a good haircut and highlight, I should treat my hair well in between salon visits.  Since I go to an Aveda salon, I'm partial to that brand.

I have a slight obsession with hairspray, though.  I use it everyday.  I use it not necessarily to hold my hair in place, but more to create volume in my baby fine hair.  It's hard to explain exactly, but if you hold your hair up and the roots and spray it just right, the hairspray can create volume. 

Anyway, Aveda makes a friggin incredible hairspray called "Air Control."  It's perfect for what I want it to do, because it doesn't create a strong hold, comes out in a super fine mist, and smells awes.  It also costs $25 and I could easily use a bottle every two weeks.  So I decided long ago to ditch the habit.  Bumble & Bumble also makes a pretty good product ("Spray de Mode"), but again, checks in around $24. 

My current go-to has been "W8less" by Rusk or "Medium Hold" by Biolage, both bought in the "salon" section of Targ.  Both come in around $15, which isn't great, but the bottles last about a month and are less than $25, so I've gone with it.

Well, I was in the store the other day and happened to turn around to see the Suave Professional line.  And I saw this.
My interest was immediately piqued because they call it "light hold."  In case you're never in the market for hairspray, let me just tell you, it's really hard to find a light hold product - presumably because most people don't want that.  It says on the bottle it "works as well as Sebastian," which isn't a prodcut I've ever tried - but I was definitely up for trying a $2 light hold hairspray!

And the verdict?  Not too shabby!  The price is a huge factor here.  $2.  Two dollars!  Two!  So yeah, you can't beat that.  And the hold is nice.  As is the super fine mist.  Actually, I like everything about the way the product works, except for the smell.  But the smell isn't awful, it's just not great.  So yeah, I think I might be sold on this one for awhile.

Well, while I was in the Suave section, I happened to spot this guy as well.
(Note - this picture got cut off a little, but I have no motivation to re-take it and/or re-load it to the blog.)

I was really excited to see it because the "real" version of this conditioner (Aveda's Rosemary Mint) is in my conditioner rotation.  Not that it's terribly expensive to get the Aveda one (maybe $10 for a bottle that lasts me 2-3 months [I go really light on conditioner]), but this Suave one was sub $2 (sub $2!!), which is ridiculously cheap!

Unfortunately my verdict on this is less glowing.  One, it smells nothing like the light, envigorating minty goodness of the real thing - and actually smells kind of gross and floral.  Two, the texture isn't the same, which is what makes the Aveda one awesome.  Three, it has that sort of gross slimy feel that most drugstore-brand conditioners have.  All in all, it's probably a fine product - but in terms of comparing to its original, not so much.

Do you guys use any of this Suave stuff?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The 4th

How sad to be back at work after a 3-day weekend.  But I guess on the bright side, we only have a 4-day week, so that's something, right?

Our extended weekend was really good.  Looking back, it feels like we were really busy, but in actuality, we didn't do that much stuff...

The main event of the whole weekend was the pool.  We went on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.  And let me just say, it's so nice to have some color on my skin again!  But the pool was great (and arguably necessary given the blazing heat).  And an added bonus on Sunday and Monday was that the lifeguards brought a huge amp and played music - rockin.

We also went to the Redbirds game on Saturday night, which was followed by an awesome fireworks show.  So we did, indeed, get to see some fireworks this weekend.  (For some reason, Jonathan and I were under the impression that the downtown fireworks were cancelled [due to budget cuts - because that was the case last year], so we didn't even try to come down and watch them like we usually do.  Well, then we heard they weren't cancelled this year, and we were sort of mad we didn't get to see them [at least I was - not sure about Jonathan.])

And of course there was the annual Central Gardens 4th of July parade on Monday.  We walked Hank down (completely unsure how he'd handle the huge crowd & 100s of kids), and he actually did really well.  He barked a few times, but nothing completely embarrassing and/or inappropriate.

And then to really top off the holiday?  We had a what I hope will be annual screening of the quintessential 4th of July movie, the 1996 classic, Independence Day.  If you haven't seen this in awhile, do yourself a favor and rent it.  Some of the lines are classic.

I hope you guys had enjoyable fourths as well.  Did anyone do anything awesome?  Does anyone enjoy Independence Day as much as I do?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Little Girls

Our marathon week in east Memphis (ie, hanging out with Jonathan's sister & her kids every night at my in-law's house) has finally ended.  What a fun trip they had!

So on the tail-end of that, I have to pass on this article for everyone to read.  How To Talk To Little Girls.  Jonathan's niece is 3 1/2 and quite possibly the cutest little human I've ever seen.  Seriously.  She's so freaking cute - you see her and have this instant desire to squeeze her in a hug.  And really, aren't most little girls like that?  It's not that little boys aren't adorable in their own way, but there's something about a little girl in her pink and her little dresses and her little hair ribbons that just makes you melt.

And per this article, I'm 100% guilty of seeing her and immediately saying something like, "Eliza, you look so cute!  I love your dress!"  Read the article.  Even though my comment is truthful and coming from a place of love, when you think about it, it's definitely not the first thing you want a little girl to hear from every single person she encounters.

I hope everyone has an awesome 4th of July weekend!  I promise I'll be back on the blogging scene next week!